Friday, March 31, 2006
Stankeye Quote of the Week 3/31
On an early afternoon in New York an event happened that nicely summarized (Texas manager) Whitey Herzog's frustrations. After a rain out at Yankee Stadium that completed the road swing, the team climbed aboard the bus to LaGuardia. While some equipment trunks were being loaded into the baggage bin, a kid of about twelve, who was typical of the attitude and demeanor of the youth who prowl the badlands around the stadium, sneaked on the bus. Standing in the aisle near the front, the youngster began a little tap dance, all the while yelling, "Rang-uhs fuck! Rang-uhs suck! Rang-uhs eat shit!"
That routine continued for about forty seconds...until Herzog himself issued a suggestion: "Hey, kid. Why don't you go beat your meat!"
"Yeah," added the bus driver. "You gettin' ready to get a shoe up you ass." With that, the driver grabbed the kid by his shirt and heaved him through the door and onto the hard sidewalk. I was sitting close enough to Herzog to hear him mutter, "The hell of it is, the kid's right."
-Many have been panicking over Armando Benitez's struggles this spring, especially after he coughed up ten runs in one inning last week. Granted, when your ERA is safely over the drinking age, you know you've got problems. However, whenever something like this happens, I like to recall spring 1998, when newly acquired Robb Nen tossed up a 16.88 ERA in the Cactus League. I wasn't sure what to make of it, but then Nen went about mowing down the National League in the regular season, so there were no worries.
Of course, Nen wasn't coming off a brutal injury-plagued season like Benitez, and his velocity and strikeout rates hadn't dropped in recent seasons like Benitez's have. Still, we have to remember that spring stats are largely worthless. I mean, Jamey Wright was the Giants' best pitcher this spring, for God's sake. Benitez has surely looked terrible, and his knee trouble is a bothersome development, but until he implodes in the regular season, it's best not to get too worked up.